Fact Sheet FS1243
During the transition into college, there are many things to think about: what to buy for your dorm room or apartment, if you are going to get along with your roommate, and what college classes are going to be like. The last thing you should be thinking about is gaining the dreaded "Freshman 15." A recent study in the Journal of American College Health reported that approximately 15–29% of students are worried about gaining weight in their first year of college. When entering college, the focus should not be on trying to prevent weight gain, but more on academics and adjusting to college life.
Research shows there really is no reason to be worried about the "Freshman 15". The majority of college freshman do not gain 15 pounds. About 51–72% of college freshmen gain 2.4 to 4.6 pounds, according to the same study in the Journal of American College Health. Most of the time, college weight gain is attributed to late-night snacks while studying or socializing, all-you-can-eat dining halls, alcohol consumption, and food on the go. It seems so easy to just pick up the phone and order pizza or Chinese food but, in time, eating a lot of high calorie take-out food can contribute to weight gain. All-you-can-eat dining halls have many temptations including ice cream, desserts, and fried food. Avoiding these foods can be difficult, but eliminating or cutting back on them can prevent weight gain. Follow these simple tips about snacking, healthier options in the dining hall and physical activity to help prevent weight gain during your first year in college.
Choosing healthy foods in an all-you-can-eat dining hall can be difficult. The first thing you see when you walk in is the pizza station, then the sandwiches, salad bar, soda machine, hot food, desserts, and then lastly, the ice cream bar. Choosing healthier options is a challenge, but if you follow these tips for a balanced meal, it will be much easier.
Choosing the right snack in college is very important. You might find yourself unable to sit down to a meal because of a busy schedule, or having class during meal times. This can result in choosing a snack that you can eat on the go or during class to hold off hunger for a short time until you can sit down to eat a meal. Try these tips to help you pick out healthy snacks that will help curb hunger.
Extra calories from alcohol consumed at college parties can quickly add up and contribute to unwanted weight gain. When you reach the legal drinking age and want to indulge in your favorite drink, do so sparingly. Never over-indulge. Limit alcoholic drinks, and substitute water between drinks to keep hydrated, and reduce calorie and alcohol intake while still celebrating with friends.
|Nature Valley® Protein Chewy bars: Peanut, almond, and dark chocolate||190||12g||10g||14g||6g|
|Kellogg's Fiber Plus® antioxidants Protein bar, Mixed nut||170||8g||10g||18g||9g|
|Fiber One® Meal bar, Chocolate Peanut Butter||190||9g||10g||2 g||6g|
|Kashi® Chewy Granola Bar, Trail Mix||140||5g||6g||20g||6g|
|Nature Valley Roasted Nut Crunch Peanut Crunch||190||13g||6g||13g||6g|
Making healthier choices in the dining hall is a great start to preventing weight gain when starting college, but in addition to eating healthy, being physically activity is essential. The combination of healthy eating and physical activity is much more effective in preventing weight gain and staying healthy. Physical activity also helps relieve stress, so you don't get too overwhelmed with school work. Use these tips to help you get motivated to work out at least an hour a day:
Family and Community Health Sciences (FCHS) works with families, schools, and communities to promote healthy eating and healthy lifestyles. Visit njaes.rutgers.edu/fchs for more information.
Check out these other valuable sites:
Give these fast. easy recipe ideas a try.
Make your own healthy, personal pizza with a toaster oven and microwave.
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total time: 15 minutes
Recipe from spoonuniversity.com
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 5 minutes
Total time: 10 minutes
Recipe from sweetannas.com
Prep time: 10 minutes
Blend milk, banana, avocado, spinach, apple, flax seed and honey in blender until smooth.
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